Is the media failing people of faith?

A new study, which drew on insights from news consumers around the world, says the media should do more to boost religious understanding

People around the world crave better coverage of religious issues and events, but many obstacles stand in the way of journalists who are trying to provide it, according to a new, first-of-its-kind global study on the media’s relationship to religion, the Deseret News reported.

The Global Faith and Media Index, released Tuesday, Sept. 20, found that newsrooms lack the resources, connections and, in some cases, the confidence to report on key faith-related developments in a thoughtful, nuanced way.

“The journalists with whom we spoke believe that faith and religious coverage are becoming increasingly marginalized due to everything from newsroom economics to fears of ‘getting it wrong,’” said Dritan Nesho, CEO of HarrisX, the global research consultancy that conducted the survey, in a statement.

The new index draws on in-depth interviews with 30 English-speaking journalists from 17 countries and an online survey of more than 9,300 news consumers from 18 countries. The goal was to hear from a wide range of voices from a variety of religious backgrounds, said Nesho during a virtual event on Tuesday about the new data.

Taken as a whole, the study revealed a gap between the types of religion stories currently being produced and the interests of actual or potential readers and viewers.

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